New Music Friday Graphic

The week's new music releases feature inspirational themes, highlighting the importance of living a life you are proud of, leaving the past behind and remaining hopeful about the future.  

Blake Shelton pays tribute to hard-working country people with his new single “Come Back As A Country Boy.” The chirping of cicadas and owl hoots start off the song, transporting listeners to the country and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The edgy twang and thick texture of the vocals bear similarities to the singer’s top hit “God’s Country.” 

While Shelton’s 2019 song emphasizes that his heart lies in the country, his new single takes the notion one step further. Lyrics like “If my neck don’t come out red, then Lord, just keep me dead” show how Shelton is proud of his roots and would not want to live any other life. 

Kane Brown and H.E.R. teamed up to produce R&B track “Blessed & Free.” Brown opens the tune accompanied by smooth rhythms, and H.E.R. joins in on the second verse for a satisfying vocal blend. The pair acknowledges life’s uncertainties and the neeed to face them in a carefree manner, declaring hopefullness about whatever life might bring their way. As long as their “eyes still see,” their “heart still beats” and they are alive, they are free. 

A combination of percussion and piano creates an upbeat, triumphant mood on Calum Scott’s new single “Rise.” He’s got his best suit on, his sleeves rolled up and is ready to face the day, with a bass drum mimicking the thump of his heart. Instead of feeling disheartened, Scott tells his audience “Just keep your eyes ahead / And dust yourself off again.” Harmonizations surrounding the word “Rise” in the chorus left me imagining a church choir, and will certainly inspire some listeners to face any challenge and chase their dreams. 

Days after her Grand Ole Opry debut, breakthrough country artist Hannah Ellis released her single “Us,” which celebrates love and affection. Catchy country guitar riffs, active percussion and an upbeat tempo come together for a pop-country feel. 

The lyrics, addressed to her husband, express the solidarity and contentment she feels in her relationship. Just “like starry skies and fireflies will always be summer“ and “church and amen,” she thinks she and her husband fit together perfectly. The song’s rhythmic accompaniment falls out for a second, leading to the first time Ellis says “Us” in the chorus, and comes back together on the downbeat, emphasizing the passion of her relationship. 

Whether you’re looking to face your next biggest challenge, wanting to go with the flow or reflecting on life’s greatest gifts, this week’s new music playlist will get you feeling inspired and empowered.

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